By Loukia Zigoumis

I’ve always been a wine lover… red, white, I wasn’t picky. I went through a phase where I  only drank Chianti, and then I made a switch, and decided to only drink Pinot Grigio. Now, I enjoy it all, and will experiment with different flavours and types of wine depending on where I’m going, whom I’m with, and what I’m eating. I’m learning a lot from reading Natalie’s book Unquenchable, too.

If I’m just going out for drinks, I’ll choose my wine carefully. I am learning about the different flavours and tastes, and what goes well with what, although I do think that’s a personal taste.

I learned a lot when I attended the recent Wolf Blass event in Ottawa, and was able to enjoy the wines I so frequently buy. It was very interesting to learn about why yellow label (a favourite of mine) is so very loved and popular across the globe. Clearly I have good taste, or something? Ha…

This week, I was invited to a wine tasting at La Piazza Ristorante in Manotick, hosted by E&J Gallo Winery, and had the chance to meet renowned California Winemaker, David Mirassou of Mirassou Wineyards.

We feasted on a four course meal paired with 3 award-winning Mirassou Wines, including the number one Pinot Noir in Canada. (The Mirassous were the first to introduce Pinot Noir to California, actually!)

Here’s what I learned at my latest wine-tasting event: when seated at a table with complete strangers, once that first glass of wine is poured and consumed, stories are exchanged and laughter will flow. Wine really does make everything better, more relaxed, and turns a good evening great.

It was a pleasure meeting the personable David Mirassou, and it equally interesting to learn about his family’s history. The Mirassou family has been growing grapes and making wines in California since 1854… yes, making them America’s oldest wine-making family.

From generation to generation, the torch… or rather, the grapes… have been passed down, and the family’s wine making traditions continue today for all to enjoy.

Loukia Zigoumis is the busy mom of two little boys and has been blogging since 2007 at Loulou’s Views. She is also the shopping blogger for Yummy Mummy Club. A self-declared shopaholic, Loukia was selected as one of Ottawa’s Top Three Fashion Bloggers by Ottawa Magazine, and one of Top Six Fashion Bloggers with The Ottawa Citizen.

Loukia co-hosts and speaks at various events in Ottawa and Toronto and writes about fashion, shopping, wine, travel, lifestyle, and parenting. Loukia used to work in television and radio as a news writer and on-air reporter.